Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969
Convention concerning Labour Inspection in Agriculture (Entry into force: 19 Jan 1972)
Adoption: Geneva, 53rd ILC session (25 Jun 1969) (Governance (Priority) Convention).
The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Fiftythird Session on 4 June 1969, and
Noting the terms of existing international labour Conventions concerning labour inspection, such as the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947, which applies to industry and commerce, and the Plantations Convention, 1958, which covers a limited category of agricultural undertakings, and
Considering that international standards providing for labour inspection in agriculture generally are desirable, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to labour inspection in agriculture, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention, adopts this twentyfifth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and sixtynine the following Convention, which may be cited as the Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969:
1. In this Convention the term agricultural undertaking means undertakings and parts of undertakings engaged in cultivation, animal husbandry including livestock production and care, forestry, horticulture, the primary processing of agricultural products by the operator of the holding or any other form of agricultural activity.
2. Where necessary, the competent authority shall, after consultation with the most representative organisations of employers and workers concerned, where such exist, define the line which separates agriculture from industry and commerce in such a manner as not to exclude any agricultural undertaking from the national system of labour inspection.
3. In any case in which it is doubtful whether an undertaking or part of an undertaking is one to which this Convention applies, the question shall be settled by the competent authority.
In this Convention the term legal provisions includes, in addition to laws and regulations, arbitration awards and collective agreements upon which the force of law is conferred and which are enforceable by labour inspectors.
Each Member of the International Labour Organisation for which this Convention is in force shall maintain a system of labour inspection in agriculture.
The system of labour inspection in agriculture shall apply to agricultural undertakings in which work employees or apprentices, however they may be remunerated and whatever the type, form or duration of their contract.
1. Any Member ratifying this Convention may, in a declaration accompanying its ratification, undertake also to cover by labour inspection in agriculture one or more of the following categories of persons working in agricultural undertakings:
(a) tenants who do not engage outside help, sharecroppers and similar categories of agricultural workers;
(b) persons participating in a collective economic enterprise, such as members of a cooperative;
(c) members of the family of the operator of the undertaking, as defined by national laws or regulations.
2. Any Member which has ratified this Convention may subsequently communicate to the DirectorGeneral of the International Labour Office a declaration undertaking to cover one or more of the categories of persons referred to in the preceding paragraph which are not already covered in virtue of a previous declaration.
3. Each Member which has ratified this Convention shall indicate in its reports under article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation to what extent effect has been given or is proposed to be given to the provisions of the Convention in respect of such of the categories of persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article as are not covered in virtue of a declaration.
1. The functions of the system of labour inspection in agriculture shall be
(a) to secure the enforcement of the legal provisions relating to conditions of work and the protection of workers while engaged in their work, such as provisions relating to hours, wages, weekly rest and holidays, safety, health and welfare, the employment of women, children and young persons, and other connected matters, in so far as such provisions are enforceable by labour inspectors;
(b) to supply technical information and advice to employers and workers concerning the most effective means of complying with the legal provisions;
(c) to bring to the notice of the competent authority defects or abuses not specifically covered by existing legal provisions and to submit to it proposals on the improvement of laws and regulations.
2. National laws or regulations may give labour inspectors in agriculture advisory or enforcement functions regarding legal provisions relating to conditions of life of workers and their families.
3. Any further duties which may be entrusted to labour inspectors in agriculture shall not be such as to interfere with the effective discharge of their primary duties or to prejudice in any way the authority and impartiality which are necessary to inspectors intheir relations with employers and workers.
1. So far as is compatible with the administrative practice of the Member, labour inspection in agriculture shall be placed under the supervision and control of a central body.
2. In the case of a federal State, the term central body may mean either one at federal level or one at the level of a federated unit.
3. Labour inspection in agriculture might be carried out for example
(a) by a single labour inspection department responsible for all sectors of economic activity;
(b) by a single labour inspection department, which would arrange for internal functional specialisation through the appropriate training of inspectors called upon to exercise their functions in agriculture;
(c) by a single labour inspection department, which would arrange for internal institutional specialisation by creating a technically qualified service, the officers of which would perform their functions in agriculture; or
(d) by a specialised agricultural inspection service, the activity of which would be supervised by a central body vested with the same prerogatives in respect of labour inspection in other fields, such as industry, transport and commerce.
1. The labour inspection staff in agriculture shall be composed of public officials whose status and conditions of service are such that they are assured of stability of employment and are independent of changes of government and of improper external influences.
2. So far as is compatible with national laws or regulations or with national practice, Members may include in their system of labour inspection in agriculture officials or representatives of occupational organisations, whose activities would supplement those of the public inspection staff; the persons concerned shall be assured of stability of tenure and be independent of improper external influences.
1. Subject to any conditions for recruitment to the public service which may be prescribed by national laws or regulations, labour inspectors in agriculture shall be recruited with sole regard to their qualifications for the performance of their duties.
2. The means of ascertaining such qualifications shall be determined by the competent authority.
3. Labour inspectors in agriculture shall be adequately trained for the performance of their duties and measures shall be taken to give them appropriate further training in the course of their employment.
Both men and women shall be eligible for appointment to the labour inspection staff in agriculture; where necessary, special duties may be assigned to men and women inspectors.
Each Member shall take the necessary measures to ensure that duly qualified technical experts and specialists, who might help to solve problems demanding technical knowledge, are associated in the work of labour inspection in agriculture in such manner as may be deemed most appropriate under national conditions.
1. The competent authority shall make appropriate arrangements to promote effective cooperation between the inspection services in agriculture and government services and public or approved institutions which may be engaged in similar activities.
2. Where necessary, the competent authority may either entrust certain inspection functions at the regional or local level on an auxiliary basis to appropriate government services or public institutions or associate these services or institutions with the exercise of the functions in question, on condition that this does not prejudice the application of the principles of this Convention.
The competent authority shall make appropriate arrangements to promote collaboration between officials of the labour inspectorate in agriculture and employers and workers, or their organisations where such exist.
Arrangements shall be made to ensure that the number of labour inspectors in agriculture is sufficient to secure the effective discharge of the duties of the inspectorate and is determined with due regard for
(a) the importance of the duties which inspectors have to perform, in particular
(i) the number, nature, size and situation of the agricultural undertakings liable to inspection;
(ii) the number and classes of persons working in such undertakings; and
(iii) the number and complexity of the legal provisions to be enforced;
(b) the material means placed at the disposal of the inspectors; and
(c) the practical conditions under which visits of inspection must be carried out in order to be effective.
1. The competent authority shall make the necessary arrangements to furnish labour inspectors in agriculture with
(a) local offices so located as to take account of the geographical situation of the agricultural undertakings and of the means of communication, suitably equipped in accordance with the requirements of the service, and, in so far as possible, accessible to the persons concerned;
(b) the transport facilities necessary for the performance of their duties in cases where suitable public facilities do not exist.
2. The competent authority shall make the necessary arrangements to reimburse to labour inspectors in agriculture any travelling and incidental expenses which may be necessary for the performance of their duties.
1. Labour inspectors in agriculture provided with proper credentials shall be empowered
(a) to enter freely and without previous notice at any hour of the day or night any workplace liable to inspection;
(b) to enter by day any premises which they may have reasonable cause to believe to be liable to inspection;
(c) to carry out any examination, test or inquiry which they may consider necessary in order to satisfy themselves that the legal provisions are being strictly observed, and in particular
(i) to interview, alone or in the presence of witnesses, the employer, the staff of the undertaking or any other person in the undertaking on any matters concerning the application of the legal provisions;
(ii) to require, in such manner as national laws or regulations may prescribe, the production of any books, registers or other documents the keeping of which is prescribed by national laws or regulations relating to conditions of life and work, in order to see that they are in conformity with the legal provisions, and to copy such documents or make extracts from them;
(iii) to take or remove for purposes of analysis samples of products, materials and substances used or handled, subject to the employer or his representative being notified of any products, materials or substances taken or removed for such purposes.
2. Labour inspectors shall not enter the private home of the operator of the undertaking in pursuance of subparagraph (a) or (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article except with the consent of the operator or with a special authorisation issued by the competent authority.
3. On the occasion of an inspection visit, inspectors shall notify the employer or his representative, and the workers or their representatives, of their presence, unless they consider that such a notification may be prejudicial to the performance of their duties.
The labour inspection services in agriculture shall be associated, in such cases and in such manner as may be determined by the competent authority, in the preventive control of new plant, new materials or substances and new methods of handling or processing products which appear likely to constitute a threat to health or safety.
1. Labour inspectors in agriculture shall be empowered to take steps with a view to remedying defects observed in plant, layout or working methods in agricultural undertakings, including the use of dangerous materials or substances, which they may have reasonable cause to believe constitute a threat to health or safety.
2. In order to enable inspectors to take such steps they shall be empowered, subject to any right of appeal to a legal or administrative authority which may be provided by law, to make or have made orders requiring
(a) such alterations to the installation, plant, premises, tools, equipment or machines, to be carried out within a specified time limit, as may be necessary to secure compliance with the legal provisions relating to health or safety; or
(b) measures with immediate executory force, which can go as far as halting the work, in the event of imminent danger to health or safety.
3. Where the procedure described in paragraph 2 is not compatible with the administrative or judicial practice of the Member, inspectors shall have the right to apply to the competent authority for the issue of orders or for the initiation of measures with immediate executory force.
4. The defects noted by the inspector when visiting an undertaking and the orders he is making or having made in pursuance of paragraph 2 or for which he intends to apply in pursuance of paragraph 3 shall be immediately made known to the employer and the representatives of the workers.
1. The labour inspectorate in agriculture shall be notified of occupational accidents and cases of occupational disease occurring in the agricultural sector in such cases and in such manner as may be prescribed by national laws or regulations.
2. As far as possible, inspectors shall be associated with any inquiry on the spot into the causes of the most serious occupational accidents or occupational diseases, particularly of those which affect a number of workers or have fatal consequences.
Subject to such exceptions as may be made by national laws or regulations, labour inspectors in agriculture
(a) shall be prohibited from having any direct or indirect interest in the undertakings under their supervision;
(b) shall be bound on pain of appropriate penalties or disciplinary measures not to reveal, even after leaving the service, any manufacturing or commercial secrets or working processes which may come to their knowledge in the course of their duties; and
(c) shall treat as absolutely confidential the source of any complaint bringing to their notice a defect, a danger in working processes or a breach of legal provisions and shall give no intimation to the employer or his representative that a visit of inspection was made in consequence of the receipt of such a complaint.
Agricultural undertakings shall be inspected as often and as thoroughly as is necessary to ensure the effective application of the relevant legal provisions.
1. Persons who violate or neglect to observe legal provisions enforceable by labour inspectors in agriculture shall be liable to prompt legal or administrative proceedings without previous warning: Provided that exceptions may be made by national laws or regulations in respect of cases in which previous notice to carry out remedial or preventive measures is to be given.
2. It shall be left to the discretion of labour inspectors to give warning and advice instead of instituting or recommending proceedings.
If labour inspectors in agriculture are not themselves authorised to institute proceedings, they shall be empowered to refer reports of infringements of the legal provisions directly to an authority competent to institute such proceedings.
Adequate penalties for violations of the legal provisions enforceable by labour inspectors in agriculture and for obstructing labour inspectors in the performance of their duties shall be provided for by national laws or regulations and effectively enforced.
1. Labour inspectors or local inspection offices, as the case may be, shall be required to submit to the central inspection authority periodical reports on the results of their activities in agriculture.
2. These reports shall be drawn up in such manner and deal with such subjects as may from time to time be prescribed by the central inspection authority; they shall be submitted at least as frequently as may be prescribed by that authority and in any case not less frequently than once a year.
1. The central inspection authority shall publish an annual report on the work of the inspection services in agriculture, either as a separate report or as part of its general annual report.
2. Such annual reports shall be published within a reasonable time after the end of the year to which they relate and in any case within twelve months.
3. Copies of the annual reports shall be transmitted to the DirectorGeneral of the International Labour Office within three months after their publication.
The annual report published by the central inspection authority shall deal in particular with the following subjects, in so far as they are under the control of the said authority:
(a) laws and regulations relevant to the work of labour inspection in agriculture;
(b) staff of the labour inspection service in agriculture;
(c) statistics of agricultural undertakings liable to inspection and the number of persons working therein;
(d) statistics of inspection visits;
(e) statistics of violations and penalties imposed;
(f) statistics of occupational accidents, including their causes;
(g) statistics of occupational diseases, including their causes.
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the DirectorGeneral of the International Labour Office for registration.
1. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour Organisation whose ratifications have been registered with the DirectorGeneral.
2. It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two Members have been registered with the DirectorGeneral.
3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve months after the date on which its ratification has been registered.
1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated to the DirectorGeneral of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
1. The DirectorGeneral of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the International Labour Organisation of the registration of all ratifications and denunciations communicated to him by the Members of the Organisation.
2. When notifying the Members of the Organisation of the registration of the second ratification communicated to him, the DirectorGeneral shall draw the attention of the Members of the Organisation to the date upon which the Convention will come into force.
The DirectorGeneral of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications and acts of denunciation registered by him in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
At such times as it may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.
1. Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention in whole or in part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:
(a) the ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation of this Convention, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 30 above, if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;
(b) as from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force this Convention shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
2. This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.